Drew and Paige’s Kitchen (Part 1)

Before we started work on our own kitchen, Pat had one other teensy project to tackle. He helped our friend Drew renovate his kitchen.


The cabinets in this kitchen were original and battered. The countertops were pretty hideousĀ and they were painted yellow. All of the lighting selections were bizarre (a ceiling fan in the dining area, for example), and the appliances were mis-matched.

First, Drew had the small wall to the right of the fridge removed. While he could have absolutely done that work himself, drywall is messy, so he hired it out. He planned to extend the footprint of the kitchen by just a few more feet in order to add a pantry.


Drew renovated their entire kitchen while Paige was away at Army Basic Training, with the intentions that she would come home to a brand new house. He barely ate or slept for weeks, but he managed to finish just in time!

Goodbye old kitchen!


Adding some much-needed outlets in this kitchen was a challenge because of the location of the subfloor. Their house is a split-level duplex, and the upstairs floor is exactly where the outlets needed to go. They had to install them sideways, which worked but wasn’t ideal. For the pendant lights, they had to fish wires through a cross brace (horizontal pieces of wood between studs) halfway up a 15-foot wall. There were many days early on when Pat would come home and I would ask for pictures for what they tackled that day. Electrical days were apparently hard work, but the pictures are not very gratifying!

Drew wanted to replace all of the lighting on the main floor, not just the immediate kitchen area. One of the first to go was this wavy track lighting number.

Installing the range hood proved challenging. The ceiling on this wall is 15 feet high, and working in the attic in July was HOT. Drew’s attic fan kicks on at 130 degrees, and it was rarely off.


Drew and Paige chose cabinetry from Ikea, which requires installing a rail along the wall and then attaching the cabinets to the rail. Once you get the rail installed level and shimmed front to back, hanging the cabinets goes quite quickly. After so many days of working on electrical and prep, installing cabinets was very rewarding.

They kept the basic layout of the original kitchen, but they did add an island. At the last minute, Drew decided to add an extra over hang on the island countertops to provide even more bar seating.

Under Cabinet Lighting

The stock under cabinet lighting from Ikea was easier to wire than the GE lights we used in our own kitchen. They ended up having to wire them from scratch because they added a switch for those.

Cabinets without under cabinet lighting:

Cabinets with light!

Here you can see the pantry to the right of the fridge. (If you scroll all the way back to “Before” at the top of the post, you can see where the wall was patched.)

Come back on Wednesday to see how everything turned out! Wishing everyone happy and safe July 4th festivities!